Off the mark

sarkozy-guignol-canalA comment on french TV

Although I said I would not be writing whilst I was away, I could not help but pick up an edition of Le Monde before I took off and find the most interesting article! A while back I had written an article about the use of media by politicians and the importance that existed in this relation. Be it hidden or not, there is a definite link between the image that is portrayed of politicians and their popularity. In my opinion, they subtly use TV and other forms of media to their advantage, through personal links that they have. I particularly feel that Nicolas Sarkozy for example, who loves being in the spotlight, has managed to manipulate the media to his advantage. This is difficult to prove however…So imagine my surprise when I came upon the article in Le Monde!

Nicolas Sarkozy’s latest project is to cut all publicity on TV as of January 2009. Not a bad idea at a first glance: advertising is tedious, takes up a lot of time of our favourite TV shows and movies, and is annoying in general. Where it does become worrisome, is in the further details: the CEO of France television is to be appointed by the President of the Republic himself. Furthermore the loss in money created by the end of advertising will not be compensated by an increase in the price of the TV licence. Therefore the state will in part, have to make up for this huge loss of funds. This is completely shocking, it is almost as if admitting to the fact that the state will have complete control over TV. This decision has thankfully created quite a polemic, be it in the left wing or the right wing for that matter. Thank goodness that some people from Sarkozy’s party still have their heads screwed on properly.

With this law, the television would be entirely controlled by the government, or in actual fact: the president. In what is supposed to be a modern world of freedom and democracy, this law seems like a huge step back. How is this representative of our supposed freedom, and how advanced we are meant to be compared to other countries? One of the most important traits of modern democracy is freedom of speech and freedom of the press. They have the right and the duty to keep us informed of what is going on in an unbiased manner. How will this be possible if this new law is voted in? How will we be sure that what we are being told is true? I know this may sound extreme but it is a matter of concern! We must be aware of what this could entail for France and its reporting, at least where television is concerned. It seems that here we would finally have the proof that the link between politics and the media is indeed there and much deeper than we had believed. It will be interesting to see what the results are. In the meantime, don’t forget to be aware of these changes and stay tuned in to international news!

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